How many nebulas do you think are in this photo? Careful, the answer is not quite what it seems.
Located 1,500 light years away and measuring four light-years across, the gorgeous Medusa Nebula offers a sneak preview of what our Sun will look like when it finally enters into its final death throes.
The Monkey Roars! NASA just released this beautiful mosaic image of part of the Monkey Head Nebula, showing a cloud made up of ultraviolet light hitting cooler hydrogen gas. This image is partly visible light and partly infrared, which shows interstellar dust particles heated by radiation from the stars in the middle.
Behold V1331Cyg, a young star located 1,800 light-years from Earth. This object, which is illuminating the dark cloud around it in spectacular fashion, is in the process of contracting as it becomes a main sequence star similar to the Sun.
Behold Jupiter's Ghost — a spectacular remnant of a star that was once quite similar to our own. Located 3,000 light-years away, it's a sneak preview of what our solar system could look like once our Sun enters into its death throes.
The Eta Carinae binary star system erupted twice in the 19th century, creating a stunning and rapidly expanding debris cloud. Now, for the first time ever, NASA has peered past the dusty clouds to catch a glimpse of its interior.
It's one of the most iconic celestial images in astronomy — the eye-like Helix Nebula. Ironically, the incredibly harsh conditions within this dying Sun-like star are producing a molecule integral for the formation of water, a process that could be repeated across the cosmos.
Astronomers say all of the galaxies in the universe are connected by a vast cosmic web of filaments, but we've never actually seen this supposed network. That's changed, however, thanks to the tumultuous activity of a distant quasar that's illuminating the celestial backdrop.
That top image is pretty, but the only way to see this incredible combination of dust and gas is to take in the whole image below. Holy crap, right? This picture, which was created in 2005 using Hubble data and digitally assigned colors, shows the Eagle Nebula surrounded by and intertwined with dust pillars that are…
Here’s a beautiful deep look at a wide-field view of the Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC 6523) and the Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC 6514) along with star cluster M21 and star forming region NGC6559. Amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Terry Hancock from Michigan says this is one of his favorite fields of view to observe.
Last night, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2012 Nebula Awards. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
To commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA/ESA has released this gorgeous new image of the iconic Horsehead Nebula.
Last night, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2011 Nebula Awards. There were plenty of outstanding candidates in the nomination pool, and here are the folks who took home the glittering spiral trophies:
Check out this totally breathtaking image of Jupiter and two of its moons, Io and Ganymede — it's not just an astounding image, it's also officially the coolest astronomy photo of 2011, according to the Royal Observatory's annual contest.
And the 2011 Nebula Award Winners are:
Check out this brilliant image of spiral galaxy NGC 2841, from the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3. This galaxy has an unusually low rate of star creation — you can tell by the absence of the pinkish glow of emission nebulae, which would indicate new star birth. What's going on? NASA explains:
The North American Nebula is a flattering portrait of the NAFTA countries, floating in space. But when the Spitzer Space Telescope generated infrared images of it, that stately American land mass was replaced by raw chaos — which tells us something more about the stages of stellar development.
It figures that this close to Halloween, something wicked would show up in the stars. Astronomers can call this a nebula if they want; you and I both know that it's a demon spawn of intergalactic proportions.
It's the final hours for the Hourglass Nebula, as the central star runs out of nuclear fuel and becomes a white dwarf. And wow, don't those dying embers look like an unblinking gaze of evil?